tv BBC World News WHUT December 16, 2011 7:00am-7:30am EST
wide range of companies. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news." >> from meltdown to cold shutdown, japan says its fukushima nuclear plant is now stable. of the cleanup could take decades and it will cost a fortune. will japan ever regain faith in nuclear-powered? welcome to "gmt." also in the program -- new moves to pressure syria as the u.n., russia signals willingness to condemn bashar al-assad. bradley manning, the u.s. soldier accused of stealing secrets to wikileaks is about to make his first court appearance.
it is midday in london, 4:00 p.m. in moscow and 9:00 p.m. in tokyo where the prime minister told his nation the fukushima plant is now stable. nine months after the earthquake and tsunami which devastated the area, he said it is now in -- the plant is now in cold shutdown. but the disaster is likely to haunt japan for decades. roland berger reports from tokyo. >> explosions -- since explosions shook the nuclear plant, the reactors were pushed into meltdown after being engulfed by a huge tsunami. now the government announced that workers at the power station achieved their goal. it is in a state of cold shutdown and the leaks of radiation have been substantially reduced.
>> since i took office, i have been saying that for japan to be reborn, fukushima has to be saved. the nuclear power plant accident needed to be stabilized. since march 11, we have been working with our full force to get the reactors under control. >> the disaster has shaken the confidence of the japanese in nuclear power, which used to provide one-third of their electricity. almost all of the countries reactors are now offline because of local safety fears. this announcement is just one milestone of what will be a very long road to recovery. the exclusion zone around the power station remains in force. tens of thousands of people used to live here. cleaning up the radiation will mean removing the topsoil from valleys and mountains.
a flat on the 26 floor in tokyo is where these people have been staying since they fled their homes. the views are good. they cannot replace their garden. >> we don't know where we belong. discard the way our own house and garden. they are waiting for us, i believe. >> decommissioning the fukushima power station is the next step. japan's preferred option is to dismantle it piece by piece, rather than into mean it in concrete. they have been warning the process can take up to 40 years. bbc news, tokyo. >> let's take a look as some of the other stories making
headlines. tens of thousands of children have suffered sexual abuse in dutch catholic institutions, that according to a report by an independent commission. it says church officials apparently failed to adequately deal with the of use or help the victims. the commission added it received more than 1000 reports of abuse at catholic schools, seminaries, and orphanages. on the line from the hague is anna. this is a catalog of extraordinary widespread abuse. would you say the netherlands is in a state of shock? >> it goes right across the country. it started with claims in one school and then it just spread. now almost 2000 reports of abuse at catholic schools and seminaries and orphanages, and debates right back to 1945. these institutions suffered from what they say is a failure of oversight, which basically
means they fail to do anything about the abuse. the investigation itself was to try to work out what was going on in the institution, how it could have happened and how it went on for so long, and what kind of justice and compensation should be offered. >> thank you very much for joining us on "gmt." more violent clashes have been reported in syria today. local human rights campaigners say at least one civilian was killed in homs. the u.n. believes almost 5000 people have been killed overall since this began. and russia, long one of syria's government staunch defenders, has said -- has circulated a resolution that condemns the use of force and suppression of peaceful protests. western nations expressed doubts about the strength of the draft but they say they are willing to negotiate. joining me from moscow is steve
rosenberg. it looks like a u-turn for moscow. why do you think this is happening? >> i would not call it a complete u-turn. certainly the language is much tougher and stronger, referring to the syrian authorities, criticizing the government for disproportionate use of force and calling on authorities in damascus to end its suppression. but there is no stick. there is no mention of sanctions. that is why western governments have criticized this draft resolution, believing it is too diluted and week. but it does give the parties something to discuss and hammer out. >> as you say, there will be a process of negotiation in new york. any indication the russians are prepared to be flexible on this key issue of sanctions? >> no indication at all. the russians do not believe sanctions work. brushup's biggest concern is that if sanctions are implemented, that would them --
russia's biggest concern. they have put a lot of money into syria, $4 billion worth of arms deals with president al- assad. add to that, $20 billion of russian money invented -- invested in infrastructure, and 80 projects, and tourism. the russians to not want to lose out. >> behind the different language we are hearing from moscow, is there any indication at all of any loosening of the bilateral ties? are the russians doing anything to indicate they themselves are getting mighty hacked off with president al-assad? >> net are getting frustrated. but the reason for this surprise draft resolution for the rustin's is that the russians are acutely aware they are always playing catch-up. they are always being forced to react to steps being taken by western governments -- the security council.
now the russians are trying to play a leadership role, trying to take the lead to try to bring peace to syria. >> steve in moscow, thank you very much for joining us. staying with russia, the authorities have seized a consignment of radioactive isotopes at a moscow airport, coming from an iranian passenger about to board a plane into iran. -- to tehran. and alarms sounded -- to reduce and levels were 20 times the normal amount. they found metal objects which they believe contain the the radioactive isotope. the u.s. military signed over its last base inside iraq. the camp near the southern city of that area -- nasiriya. at the end of the mission was marked in a low-key ceremony at the baghdad airport thursday. the cells side -- self-styled international revolutionary known as carlos the jackal has
been convicted and sent to life in prison in a french -- by a french court. he is already serving a life sentence for other crimes. the british-born journalist and writer christohoer hitchens has died at age 62 after a long and public battle with cancer. he started out as a campaigning left wing journalist in britain in the 1970's. in later life he moved to the u.s. he supported the invasion of iraq and became an outspoken critic of organized religion. the u.s. army private accused of supplying hundreds of thousands of secret documents to wikileaks is making his first appearance before a military court later today. bradley manning was serving as an intelligence analyst in iraq when he allegedly access military files and diplomatic cables, many of them classified. the pretrial hearing will take place amid heightened security at fort meade near washington.
>> it was the biggest week in u.s. history, and he is the only person charged. now on the eve of his 24th birthday, bradley manning will hear the case against him. inside this anonymous-looking building on an army--- on an army base near washington. under the military justice system this is known as an article 32 hearing, in which prosecutors will try to convince an officer that they have an evidence to proceed to court martial. the defense will respond, there will be witnesses. and for reporters this is the first chance to see bradley manning said he was taken into custody 19 months ago. >> 5 or 6 individuals with ak- 47's -- >> he was arrested last year while serving in iraq. it is alleged this young intelligence analysts leaked this classified video showing an incident in baghdad in which american forces killed civilians, including two journalists.
the video was made public by wikileaks, which went on to release an electronic treasure trove of documents detailing alleged abuses in iraq and afghanistan and the highly sensitive private thoughts of u.s. diplomats around the world. prosecutors have avoided mentioning wikileaks, but instead focused on the technical, accusing bradley manning of misusing government computers. >> the charges that a wikileaks because it is not necessary to pass the information to wikileaks. the offense is complete when pfc manning uses the computer in in in -- inappropriate way. >> the defense is depicted as for agile and mentally unstable who was not able to be open in the military about his homosexuality. supporters of bradley manning have denounced as inhumane of the conditions under which he was initially held. the few who met him insist he loves his country.
>> bradley manning considers himself to be a patriot. he is a man who kind of despises traditional stereotypes and he is highly intelligent, a humble individual for his age, and on top of that, very dedicated to helping the world be better place. >> hanging over these proceedings is a crucial question -- what was bradley manning's connection with the julian assange, the founder of wikileaks? did he, some believe, control and direct an impressionable young man who now stands in the dark alone? steve kingston, bbc news, washington. >> now i can bring you some breaking news we received in just the last few moments. the italian government, literally minutes ago, has passed a vote on a new austerity program outlined by prime and esther mario monti. it has passed its first hurdle in the lower house in the past few moments and is expected to go to another vote in the upper house shortly, before it is
turned into law. as we follow the unfolding events in the eurozone efforts to deal with the mountain of sovereign debt, the italians have passed in the lower house of parliament, a new austerity package. still to come on "gmt," defying the odds -- doctors in california preparing to send home one of the smallest premature babies ever to survive. the european council president has offered to the british what he called a technical role when eu and leaders meet at the end of january. but tensions between britain and france are still high. the bank of france chief says credit rating agencies should downgrade britain before france. >> fears of isolation in europe after the british prime minister vetoed plans for a new eu treaty
last week. to have evacuated. britain will not have a vote on the content of the treaty, but representatives have been officially invited to join discussions on its -- which means david cameron will have a front row seat when decisions are made on tough new rules for the eurozone. but there is clearly no love lost between britain and france. when the head of the bank of france heard his country could face a credit downgrade, he said if there is any talk of downgrading, britain should be first in line because, it said, it has a bigger deficit, more inflation, as much -- as much debt as france and slower growth. all other eu member states already agreed to the sitter the new treaty but they have not seen a draft yet. one or two countries are reportedly having second thoughts. christine lagarde says there to ratify a new treaty could lead to retraction, protectionism, isolation, and recession.
she also said the global economic crisis will get worse and said no country would be in union >> there is no economy in the world, whether low-income countries, the emerging markets, middle income, or super in vance, that will be immune to the crisis we see not only unfolding but escalating at the point where everybody would actually have to be focused on what it can do. >> in europe, politicians have to agree to the details of the new treaty by late january. >> this is "gmt" from bbc world news. the headlines -- japan says it's a fukushima nuclear plant is now finally stable. but the cleanup could take decades. russia's apprises the u.n. security council partners by circulating a new resolution on the syria crisis. and aaron is here with the
business news. i think another warning for the financials. >> i think there are big bangs out there giving fitch a bit of an itch. you like that? let me explain. of the credit rating agency fitch has downgraded six of the world's largest banks, blaming what it calls challenging financial markets. the banks include barclays in the u.k. as well as bankamerica and goldman sachs in the u.s., bnp paribas and france and germany's deutsche bank. basically reflecting problems in the sector as a whole rather than specific concerns over the banks. but it does follow similar downgrades of the franz's big banks by moody's bang last week -- moody's last week. coated cause a credit crunch? >> we could be if the banks stopped lending and is likely they will lend less in the last -- next few months because they
have to bring up capital levels. we will see reduced lending. the key thing, where will the lending continue? if it continues in the smaller to medium-sized businesses in europe and around the world, maybe the economy will move forward. if it stops in that particular segment it will get a lot worse than -- before it gets better. >> russia officially becomes a member of the world trade organization today, 18 years after the -- the negotiations first began. reformers -- formal ceremony will take place in geneva. experts predict the russian economy could grow by an extra 1% a year and as a result, will also change the economy. >> permanently from excessive dependence on oil and gas to more diversified and more competitive service and manufacturing sector. it could be a big story. >> here is a big story. zynga the, the on-line games maker behind things like mafia wars is raising $1 billion in
the u.s. stock market debut. it priced its initial public offering at 100 million shares at $10 a share. the price values the company at around $9 billion. this will be the largest of an internet company said google raised $1.9 billion at its ipo backed in 2004. how do they make their money? the mud you give lots of things for free -- >> you get lots of things for free -- or you can't of repeople and convince them like zynga does to buy extra items for the games, to play quicker -- you can convince people to buy extra items for the games, to play quickly. they are happy to pay for that. >> let us touch on some of the other business news making headlines. in italy, the chamber of deputies has approved a 33 billion euro package of tax
rises as well as spending cuts. it now moves to the senate where it is expected to be approved before christmas, probably with another confidence vote. research in motion, which makes blackberry phones, announced a delay in the launch. there was also disappointment that the prediction of sales in the current christmas quarter, down from basically 15 million in the same period last year. authorities in beijing told micro-bloggers to register their real names. they have three months to enforce the measure, although people will still be able to use pen names in cyberspace. this is what asia did. u.s. news has kind of been driving the markets higher. we have better than expected
labor numbers out of the u.s., as well as better than expected manufacturing numbers. nice, positive sign, from the u.s. trying to get over to europe. it has been a bit dodgy. but let's not kid ourselves -- all eyes still on the eurozone and what will happen there. possibly another credit crunch. >> thank you. you go and scratched the fitch itch. almost two months after muammar gaddafi was captured and killed by militiamen from libyan goverg to promote national reconciliation. many of the former dictator's fighters are now in jail. they have -- there have been a collective punishments against communities that support it. nowhere more so than in this town south of misrata. >> after the guns fell silent
here, so did an entire town. assigned posts have been raised by militiamen from misrata who would like to see displays wiped off the map. once home to 30,000 people, now home to no one at all. houses have been ransacked and torched. during the libyan uprising, this was used as a base for gaddafi's forces. when they were defeated, everyone here had to flee. it is extremely erie being in a place where not a soul remains. misrata is about 50 kilometers from here, but every day some of the militiamen come here, ensuring that no one -- man, woman or child -- dare return. prayer time in a jail in misrata -- among the prisoners, a number of people who say they are being well treated now.
one shows us stars being whipped by electric wires when he was first round up in august by misrata militiamen. i don't know why i am here, he says. it is those who committed crimes and should be punished. misrata was under siege for months after it rose up against muammar gaddafi. and behind a broken, battle- scarred building, are many broken lives. this man shows how his teeth were knocked out by a rifle but by soldiers from misrata. he told of men having glue put on their to stop them from urinating. tuargans are now refugees in their own country. of the new government says it wants national reconciliation.
that will not be easy when abuses have been commited by both sides. we are scared, she says. we want a solution to our problems and we want to go long. -- go home. it is impossible imagining them returning in the foreseeable future, but so far from home, they are at least safe and they sing for us a newly invented protest song. that is something that no one would have dreamt of doing publicly during muammar gaddafi's rule. >> and you can see caroline's full report on the weekend edition of "news night" year on bbc world news. doctors in california are preparing to send home one of the smallest premature babies ever to survive. when she was born in august at 24 weeks, melinda was so tiny
she could fit into the palm of her doctor's hands. now she is a healthy four pans. -- pounds. >> she was a half a pound. >> was born prematurely at 24 weeks. her mother said her skin felt like plastic because it was so thin. since august, she has been cocooned in this in debater. she believes to -- she is believed to be the second smallest baby to survive in the u.s. >> it is a huge miracle. she has made it. a lot of people doubted her, thought she was not going to make it. the only reason why they tried to savor was because she was 24 weeks. if she was not 24 weeks, they would not have bothered trying. >> she was born by caesarean section. her mother had a difficult
pregnancy and her doctors knew it would be touch and go whether a baby so small could survive. >> this is our star baby -- the smallest baby in our unit in the last few years, and 9 ounces, right? how big is a coke can? your baby is smaller than that. now the baby weighs eight times the baby was, when the baby was born. then the doctors say babies as tiny as this when they are born they have health problems, including learning difficulties. but for now, this little girl is doing well. >> she is a little miracle to me. [laughter] >> the family hopes to have home by the new year. bbc news, los angeles. >> good to end on a wonderfully
up loving story. that is all from us for now. do stay with us here on bbc world news. there is plenty more to come. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank.